Rapids switch managers

Watertown Rapids manager Mike Wood sits in the dugout last season. Wood took a job with Northwest Florida State College.Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

Watertown Rapids’ manager Mike Wood is moving on after one season on the job.

Wood, a former player for Jefferson Community College, took the Rapids’ job in October, 2018, and led the Rapids during the 2019 season. He is taking a job as assistant coach for Northwest Florida State College, an NJCAA Division I program, the Rapids announced.

The Rapids also announced that they have hired a new manager and will unveil the team’s new leader “shortly.”

Watertown will feature a new manager for the second straight season. David Anderson, who led the Rapids in 2018, moved on to work as pitching coach at Emory University and also coached the Fayetteville SwampDogs of the Coastal Plain League this past summer.

“It’s awesome to watch these guys advance their careers,” Rapids general manager Brandon Noble said in a statement. “You spend a lot of time with all of the coaches from recruiting throughout the offseason and planning, to each day during the summer, so our organization enjoys seeing the success of each coach after they leave Watertown.”

The Rapids started quickly in Wood’s collegiate-coaching debut, going 7-3 in their first 10 games and moving to the top of the West Division in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

But player departures and injuries took their toll and the Rapids struggled throughout July.

The Rapids finished with six straight losses and a 16-30 mark, which placed them last in the division, missing out on the postseason.

Wood managed the West All-Stars in the PGCBL All-Star Game in July in Saugerties.

Northwest Florida State won the Junior College World Series in 2015.

“I am excited about the opportunity because of their storied success on the baseball field and the chance to compete in the nationally recognized panhandle conference,” Wood said.

Wood, who grew up in Seneca Falls, went on to play baseball at JCC and also served as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence University under head coach Peter Hoy, where Wood worked with the team’s pitchers.

Also from Wood’s coaching staff this summer, Sean Stacy was with the Rapids for the first half of the season before becoming an assistant coach at Northeast Texas Community College.

Hunter Thomas is in his second year as a graduate assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan University.

In their first season in the league in 2018, Anderson managed Watertown, which advanced to the playoffs, losing to Amsterdam in the semifinal round.

“We really couldn’t have asked for better coaches over the first two seasons,” Noble added. “Our coaches have represented our organization exceptionally on the field and have gone above and beyond in the community. We’re proud of the platform we’re building not only for these highly talented players to grow, but also our coaches and staff members.”

The Rapids, who have begun recruiting players for next season, will enter their third season as a franchise next spring.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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